Why City Size Matters to Me

#1 Posted by Kane_233 (71 posts) -

I know this is being done to death but I feel like this needs clarification. City size doesn't just matter because of aesthetics. When I want to build my own city I want the freedom to build what I want where I want it. For the most part, that's what's done within the allotted areas for development. But that's my gripe altogether, I can't build what I want where I want it. I have to conform to an arbitrary boundary and I have to maximize efficiency based on what I'm trying to develop within those parameters. It's not really SimCity once you account for that difference...in fact the entire notion of a simulator is done away with once those boundaries interfere with my ability to perceive my city as something that could exist in real life. I cannot think of a single city made in such a fashion.

Those boundaries are so jarring that it takes away from the element that I liked so much about previous SimCity games. And to be honest, it's the only large flaw I can find with the game. Other things that have been done to streamline the experience (Power lines, Sewage, water, waste, etc) are fantastic additions to the series! Those were always laborious and draining and did nothing for the game in terms of visuals because once that was done you went above ground and thought nothing of it. I had the same feeling about subway systems. The graphics are fantastic! Lighting is so nice to gawk at night, emergency lights catch your eye, and car lights are good at indicating traffic flows. That's why it's so hard to understand why anybody thought having these squares as the defined lines of a given city was a good idea...

I don't particularly care about the social factors, I never played SimCity to play with other people. It was a sandbox game...would it be cool if people could view my huge metropolis while I played? Yeah..I guess. But it's not an overriding desire of mine because playing a game like this has always been about what's fun for me, not what's fun for other people. That's an addition that I'd consider only after everything else is accounted for.

My thoughts.

#2 Posted by jozzy (2042 posts) -

I saw this somewhere, thought it was applicable to this thread :)

#3 Posted by JZ (2125 posts) -

Bigger is better

#4 Posted by MonkeyKing1969 (2894 posts) -

It seems like the biggest problem is the scale of the simulation going on. SimCity 2000 was like a 100-1 ratio, for every hundred real houses you have in a real city there is one building in SC2K. As times has gone on that ratio has gotten further and further so now the simulation of 1000 real building equal one building in SimCity 2013. That house on the corner...it represents 1,000 or 2,000 homes. I don't think people want that because ist doesn't look good or even dynamic People want to build cities on a scale that is larger, not one to one just larger, but the complexity of the sim in the background eats up so much CPU that I guess they cannot do that unless we all have $2,000 machines

#5 Edited by KaosAngel (13765 posts) -

@jozzy: It was posted on /v/ once everyone started to get the 30 min queue times. Didn't EA have like 3 betas to make sure it wouldn't happen?

#6 Posted by Wacomole (830 posts) -

@jozzy:

In the Sim City 6 image, every brick will have been simulated and you will be able to zoom into the ant colony living in the driveway. But yes, they do seem to have lost contact with one of the main reasons many people come to a Sim City game instead of The Sims, namely the scale.

On a tangentially related matter, how on earth do you zoom in on a pic with the new site? If I click on the tall image that you posted it actually gets SMALLER as the picture viewer tries to fit it all vertically on screen at once.

#7 Posted by EXTomar (4843 posts) -

Small city scenarios can be fun but as an entire game seems of restrictive. It would be nice to do scenarios with a city that can only grow to 200K as well as cities of 5 million.

#8 Edited by TheTuch (18 posts) -

While I agree with the fact city limits are too small, the flip side is that it forces Users to really maximize the efficiency of their space as well as create that reliance on other cities within the region for resources. I'm definitely of the camp that I want my city to be bigger and I expect that this will be something they implement in an update.

#9 Posted by Pezen (1634 posts) -

That whole size thing is a major bummer. I guess I'll pick this up later on when it goes down in price. Not sure that small piece of land is worth my time. Just watching the quicklook made me shudder at the notion of trying to be "creative" with such restrictions. Boring.

#10 Posted by rethla (617 posts) -

"Maximize efficiency" = Building a Ryan style city with perfect squares on a tiny little spot in the middle of nothing? Not really....

You dont increase density by making a place popular its the other way around. You make the popular spots high density to maximize profit. Its all such a nonsense

Also ll the unique buildings are so large you can hardly build anything at all. Add the townhall, powerplant, schools, police, firefighters etc. and you have already used up half your space wtf?

You also have to place your garbage dumps, nuclear plants etc right in the middle of everything becouse there simply aint no space do do anything deacent

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#11 Posted by StarvingGamer (8377 posts) -

I dunno, the more I think about trying to min/max different cities within a region to all balance off each other the more excited I get.

Now if only I could actually play the game.

#12 Posted by Marmalade (192 posts) -

@moleyuk: Once zoomed in on said ant colony, will I be able to play SimAnt?

#13 Posted by Fearbeard (834 posts) -

@rethla: You can also outsource almost all of those things to other cities in your region, freeing up tons of space. Yes, the city size is limiting but if you are only relying on a single city square for everything then you are playing the game wrong.

#14 Posted by Morbid_Coffee (955 posts) -

It's not about the size of your city but the hang of your *BANG*

#15 Posted by Guided_By_Tigers (8061 posts) -

Its not the size that matters its how you use it.

#16 Posted by Kane_233 (71 posts) -

Let me re-emphasize my point: I like this game. I do, very much so. I played one of the betas...the hour long one. I played that sucker multiple times. But the limitation on the size of the city isn't about efficiency, it's about perception. With one side of the road being a high density apartment block and the other side being...big vast open spaces unavailable to me for whatever reason...it completely ruins any semblance of a simulation "feel." It's not about whether the game is fun (It is) or whether managing a city's efficiency should be considered (It should). But that's not what's being asked of us here, we're being told what is and isn't efficient right off the bat when we're limited in this fashion. They've allowed for the issuance of bonds...but not for the construction of our own city borders? Or worse yet, they didn't bother to make the terrain account for these incongruouncies to at least hide the fact that such a boundary exists? It's not a game (to me anyways) when efficiency becomes somewhat of a large point of the game. You have to maximize that space in order to see the best of what the game has to offer but when you do it might not translate visually for you. Then what's the point? SimCity has always been about visuals, the data tables are nice (And in this game soooo much fun to look at) but does anybody play SimCity simply to maximize efficiency and view said charts endlessly? Why have visuals at all?

The fact of the matter, plainly stated, is that this isn't a SimCity game. It's an entirely different game trying to utilize the name brand of a bygone era (I suppose). Maybe the social aspect is meant to get the younger demographics involved? And get some Sims players to migrate over? Appealing to the lowest common denominator type of thing.

Hopefully this can be addressed in a future patch.

#17 Posted by JasonR86 (9742 posts) -

Its not the size that matters its how you use it.

Took the words right out of my mouth you fucker.

#18 Edited by MstrMnyBgs (124 posts) -

@rethla: You can also outsource almost all of those things to other cities in your region, freeing up tons of space. Yes, the city size is limiting but if you are only relying on a single city square for everything then you are playing the game wrong.

Not as easy as it sounds. Sure you could do that in theory, but that would require all the other cities in the region to sacrifice space/efficiency/money for your benefit. So while you have a nice import system going on with lots open areas to build in, all the other cities are building industry and utilities to export for your needs.

Not to mention the current amount of water and power you can import are miniscule at best. At least in my experiences.

#19 Posted by big_jon (5743 posts) -

It's about girth not length, but I agree, these cities look sad.

#20 Edited by rethla (617 posts) -

@fearbeard said:

@rethla: You can also outsource almost all of those things to other cities in your region, freeing up tons of space. Yes, the city size is limiting but if you are only relying on a single city square for everything then you are playing the game wrong.

Tell me exactly what those predefined borders dividing up the region into tiny squares add to the game? Couldnt you do exactly what you said without those?

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#21 Edited by Claude (16254 posts) -

Wait for the expansion pack.

#22 Posted by EXTomar (4843 posts) -

Something did occur to me: Doesn't EA's store offer "Buy New York themed buildings?" I have seen in other videos from players in other regions where they offer Paris and London themed packs to.

If they are doing this then here is the quandary: Why are they eager to offer us themes for New York, London and Paris when SimCity can't possibly simulate them? 20 square blocks even a quarter of Manhattan.

#23 Posted by Fearbeard (834 posts) -

@rethla said:

@fearbeard said:

@rethla: You can also outsource almost all of those things to other cities in your region, freeing up tons of space. Yes, the city size is limiting but if you are only relying on a single city square for everything then you are playing the game wrong.

Tell me exactly what those predefined borders dividing up the region into tiny squares add to the game? Couldnt you do exactly what you said without those?

Did I say it added to the game? I said it was limiting. I'm not saying that it was the best design decision. I was merely pointing out that the way the game is designed you don't have to rely on a single square for every aspect of your city as you implied in your post.

#24 Posted by Hunter5024 (5810 posts) -

Personally I just feel like it shortens the lifespan of my city. When I run out of room (as I quickly do), I get bored because there's nothing left to do except tweak the buildings I already have, and I get frustrated because the only way to make any changes is to destroy stuff I've already built. This just leads to me wanting to start a new city. The biggest problem is that with each new city I make I get more and more Jeff-like with my design, because I want to wring every drop of gameplay that I can out of the map, and the best way to do that is with a grid. So that takes the element of freedom and creativity out of it as well, which is the whole reason I'm playing the game to begin with.

#25 Posted by Kane_233 (71 posts) -

So, just a personal update.

I bought the game yesterday and figured it'd be somewhat functional today. It isn't. Yesterday the origin client would load and the SimCity autoupdate feature worked but the servers wouldn't. I did however manage to get two hours of playtime yesterday before the servers burned to the ground again. That was nice. Today, the origin client won't load unless I get task manager going. Even after this, upon clicking on SimCity to get it loading it starts to...and then nothing. No processes show up in task manager. It just...starts and stops. I have it running as administrator. I have emptied my temp files. I have deleted my user data for SimCity multiple times. I can't even load the load screen for SimCity anymore.

I'm just blown away right now.

#26 Edited by Kane_233 (71 posts) -

So, just a personal update.

I bought the game yesterday and figured it'd be somewhat functional today. It isn't. Yesterday the origin client would load and the SimCity autoupdate feature worked but the servers wouldn't. I did however manage to get two hours of playtime yesterday before the servers burned to the ground again. That was nice. Today, the origin client won't load unless I get task manager going. Even after this, upon clicking on SimCity to get it loading it starts to...and then nothing. No processes show up in task manager. It just...starts and stops. I have it running as administrator. I have emptied my temp files. I have deleted my user data for SimCity multiple times. I can't even load the load screen for SimCity anymore.

I'm just blown away right now.

#27 Posted by Fattony12000 (7526 posts) -

I wonder if people will be able to do anything about this once the mod tools are released?

#29 Posted by Rafaelfc (1382 posts) -

I want an ever expanding living-breathing city, not a snowglobe model of a city!!!!

#30 Posted by KaosAngel (13765 posts) -

The Simcity 4 picture shouldn't count. That's the smallest region size, and even then SimCity 4 is a shit ton bigger.

#31 Posted by Sander (414 posts) -

Don't you people realize that bigger cities = more strain on the servers? The servers are burdened enough as it is.

#32 Edited by rethla (617 posts) -

@sander said:

Don't you people realize that bigger cities = more strain on the servers? The servers are burdened enough as it is.

I dont see any strain on the Sim City 4 servers.

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#33 Edited by ShaggE (6554 posts) -

I say shrink it further. SimTown was great.

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#34 Posted by SathingtonWaltz (2053 posts) -

Sim City 2000:

Sim City 4

Sim City 2013

#35 Edited by EXTomar (4843 posts) -

@sander said:

Don't you people realize that bigger cities = more strain on the servers? The servers are burdened enough as it is.

That isn't necessarily true but let entertain this idea. If this is true, then maybe EA shouldn't have released SimCity yet until they solved this "technical issue". Until they solve this issue, SimCity can't simulate a city larger than 200K population. Is that a bug or a feature to you?

I do think there is something to the idea that this should have been released SimTown. Of course producers (EA) wouldn't have gone for it because sales on brand name alone would have been much lower.

#36 Posted by KaosAngel (13765 posts) -

@sathingtonwaltz: The SimCity 4 picture is filled with dozens and dozens of cities. That's not one city. I'm not defending the new game. Just saying.

#37 Edited by Sooty (8082 posts) -

No idea where that screenshot of SimCity 2013 came from, the city I made when I was able to log in (that one time) had far more space than that.

#38 Posted by Wuddel (2098 posts) -

I would have preferred larger cities, but I have to say I enjoy the new game immensely. It is it't own thing though. SimCommunities so to speak.

#39 Posted by ChaosTony (102 posts) -

My problem with the smaller cities is realism. When your city starts getting dense, your residential areas turn into luxury skyscrapers and condos, but how many cities with <100,000 population do you know with skyscrapers?

#40 Posted by rebgav (1429 posts) -

@sathingtonwaltz: The SimCity 4 picture is filled with dozens and dozens of cities. That's not one city. I'm not defending the new game. Just saying.

True. For a real comparison someone should post the new SimCity's largest region map of 16 small, isolated cities next to 4's largest region map of 40 (or 50 or 60 or whatever it is) interlocked cities of varying sizes.

God, Sim City 4 was madness. Madness. Someone should make a modern successor that game.

#41 Posted by Sander (414 posts) -

@rethla: oh Simcity FOUR. My bad!

#42 Posted by Itwastuesday (975 posts) -

@extomar said:

@sander said:

Don't you people realize that bigger cities = more strain on the servers? The servers are burdened enough as it is.

That isn't necessarily true but let entertain this idea. If this is true, then maybe EA shouldn't have released SimCity yet until they solved this "technical issue". Until they solve this issue, SimCity can't simulate a city larger than 200K population. Is that a bug or a feature to you?

I do think there is something to the idea that this should have been released SimTown. Of course producers (EA) wouldn't have gone for it because sales on brand name alone would have been much lower.

I don't know about the "they shouldn't have released this with smaller plots!" angle you're working here. It seems a little unreasonable. I'm enjoying the game a lot even with the smaller city size. I've probably played more than 20 hours on one city at this point (not counting the time I spent with a few project cities in the same region), and I can't see myself focusing on another just yet.

#43 Edited by EXTomar (4843 posts) -

Uh, who says I am advocating small plots. I'm advocating if the supposition "bigger cities = too much strain" then they need to fix it. In other words, there isn't something wrong with the player's expectation but that the simulation has a drawback in it that doesn't allow it to come close to reasonable real world examples. That sounds like a flaw or a bug instead of a feature.

#44 Posted by rethla (617 posts) -
@extomar said:

Uh, who says I am advocating small plots. I'm advocating if the supposition "bigger cities = too much strain" then they need to fix it. In other words, there isn't something wrong with the player's expectation but that the simulation has a drawback in it that doesn't allow it to come close to reasonable real world examples. That sounds like a flaw or a bug instead of a feature.

Well they are trying to fix it.

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#45 Edited by EXTomar (4843 posts) -

You can only release a game once. Saying "well they are trying to fix it" gets the reaction you see on the Internet. It feels too small and didn't work correctly.

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